What do judges know anyway?

I definitely understand how important it is to have thick skin when allowing one of your photographs to be critiqued or judged.  After all, judging is very subjective.  I find that some judges have very strict self-imposed guidelines as to what makes a "good" image; while others can more  fully appreciate how different styles and approaches can be very effective.

The image below is one of my favorites from this past summer.  And it was a little tough to have a judge criticize if for being "two images in one".  She felt that it would be a better image if cropped horizontally to eliminate the top half.  Basically, she thought the patch of blue (top half) was one image and the storm edge and orange sky (bottom half) was the second image.  Of course this left me wondering where it was written in the laws of the universe that two-for-one was a bad idea.  This is actually one reason I like vertical landscapes and scenes.  I enjoy capturing an interesting sky by turning the camera vertically.  We should all look up more often.  Why does there need to be just one main subject.  Why not two main subjects; or a main subject (blue patch of sky amid dark clouds), secondary subject (orange horizon at the edge of the storm front); and even a tertiary subject (the moored lobster boat).

Your mileage may vary, of course.  Fortunately, I have a day job and photography is a hobby.  That means the only person I need to please is myself! 

So what is the value of a judge or critic?  Well, I guess I have learned to listen to them and (1) accept ideas and notions that appeal to me and (2) reject whatever doesn't appeal to me.

The first image is the one I submitted.  I like it better.  The second one is based on the judge's comments.  I don't like it as much.  You may prefer it.  I think a lot has to do with what size it is printed. 

Whatever.  I now have it on my hard drive both ways.

January 2012 print salon entry. Title:  Coastal Storm Front.  Score 26/30. (I'd give it 28.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Never mind the judges! The clouds are beautiful! I love the Vermont skyscape. When I look at it I want to be there. Don't be so hard on yourself! I know why youre like that.